When I read the NY Times‘ coverage of the Supreme Court decision approving the DeLay inspired Texas redistricting plan something didn’t seem right. The claim was that the decision wouldn’t have much impact beyond Texas because few states with Democratic majorities would be in a position to perform a similar redistricting.
…Some said fears or threats of constant redistricting were overblown. ”The Democrats don’t control enough states where they can squeeze out those districts,” said Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in election law. Still, he said, even a few could be a significant shift.
Of course the reporter almost immediately backpedals from that statement:
Still, he said, even a few could be a significant shift…
The most likely states to be redistricted, he said, were Louisiana, New Mexico and Illinois, adding that California and New York could be eligible if Democrats took back the governor’s office in those states.
Now, Political Wire reinforces this hunch of mine that DeLay & Co. haven’t heard the last of this:
Look for several states to rejigger congressional districts in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling upholding the Texas legislature’s 2003 decision to draw a new map,” advises Kiplinger Forecasts…Although the Supreme Court’s decision is a big victory for Republicans, and specifically for former Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who engineered the redistricting, redistricting by other states may have the GOP ruing the day.”
“New maps may well put more Democrats in the House of Representatives, possibly enough to tip the balance of power from Republicans to Democrats. We expect Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York to wind up with Democrats in control of both the governor’s mansion and the state legislature after the November elections. So redistricting in those states might shift enough seats to the Democratic column to give that party a majority.”
The GOP may live to ‘rue the day.’ I like the sound of that. I’m not in favor of jury-rigged redistricting of the type engineered by Tom DeLay in Texas. But by God if he’s going to mess with the system why should he have a monopoly? Two can play this game. The one thing that always puzzles me about politics is that the majority party is always seeking partisan advantage, but never stops to think that the minority party will inevitably some day come to power. Does the current majority think the current minority won’t use precisely the same tricks as those used against them when they were in the minority? What goes around comes around, my Texas Republican friends.
To be fair, Kiplinger’s does sound a note of caution about future redistricting plans:
Redrawing political maps is costly, disruptive to voters and controversial, leading some experts to say that the significance of the high court’s ruling is being overblown and that there will be less redistricting than some fear—and others hope for. They point out that public advocates will argue against gerrymandering, complaining that it strengthens incumbents, making it harder for challengers of an opposing party. And it will increase partisanship and make it tougher for moderates to win…
Don’t expect a rush of action. The process of redistricting takes months, if not years.
Nevertheless, times are just too partisan and hatred of Mafiosi like DeLay just too strong to prevent the Democrats from ‘pulling a DeLay’ and redistricting a few Republican districts to death.